By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
It’s not easy being wrong ― even harder when you thought you knew it all. But it’s time to man up, and I suspect there are a few out there in the same boat. We’re not perfect. Blake Sims proved it. And after seven games of the 2014 season, it would be wrong to move forward without addressing this. It was a foregone conclusion when practice started Aug. 1 that Sims would eventually slip to the No. 2 quarterback job. Picking against Florida State transfer Jacob Coker didn’t seem feasible. I was assigned a 1,500-word profile on Coker for our preseason magazine and didn’t hesitate in July to declare him the favorite to start Game 1.
By STEVE MEGARGEE, Gadsden Times:
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin isn’t talking as the former Tennessee coach prepares to make his much-anticipated return to Knoxville. He has no choice. Alabama coach Nick Saban’s policy of keeping his assistants off limits to the media during the regular season means Kiffin isn’t sharing his emotions as he heads back to a town that hasn’t forgiven him nearly five years after his messy departure. Kiffin coached Tennessee for just one season before leaving for Southern California three weeks prior to National Signing Day. “We had a great year there,” Kiffin said in August, the only time he’s spoken to reporters since coming to Alabama. “The people were phenomenal there. (I) really loved being there. It was just a unique situation that came about. You can’t look back.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook and University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban will be among eight people inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor on Monday in Montgomery. The academy recognizes 100 living Alabamians for their accomplishments and service.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick, Montgomery Advertiser:
Reggie Ragland was asked this week what made the difference this year as to why he has been so productive. He’s been a leader on the fourth-ranked Alabama football team’s defense that ranks third in the nation. The starting junior inside linebacker from Madison paused to think, and then responded simply that he playing now. “Getting on the field, really,” Ragland said. “Finally getting onto the field because I had all-Americas in front of me.” Ragland spent his first two years as a backup and special teams player. He earned starting job this fall, and gets better each week.
By Wes Rucker, GoVols247:
Lane Kiffin’s mother told CBSSports.com’s Jon Solomon that she was “scared to death” for her son’s safety this weekend and wanted him to coach from the Neyland Stadium press box. Robin Kiffin, former Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamiton and others were interviewed throughout Solomon’s piece on Lane Kiffin — the former Vols head coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator.
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
It’s getting to that point in the season when reality sets in for freshmen. Those who haven’t played could be getting frustrated. Others wish they were playing more. And for a group that was ranked No. 1 in the nation as recruits, they’re fighting through that mental wall. Alabama coach Nick Saban said he had a chat with some of those players this week.
By Howie Kussoy, Newyork Post:
By this time next week, we will have seen the first set of rankings compiled by the playoff committee, but it’s already obvious that we are barely better off than we were the past 16 years and still at least another dozen years from a logical and equitable solution in determining college football’s postseason participants. Outside of Florida State, which doesn’t play another ranked team the rest of the season, there is little point in projecting playoff teams at this point because four of the top five teams in the nation — Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Alabama and Auburn — all reside in one division and play two games against two teams in that group.
By MARQ BURNETT, ledger-enquirer.com:
Just because Alabama quarterback Blake Sims doesn’t always respond to the criticism, doesn’t mean it doesn’t get back to him. Throughout the offseason, preseason practice and as recently as the Crimson Tide’s two road games at Ole Miss and Arkansas, there were questions about whether Sims could be the Tide’s starting quarterback and lead this team. Through seven games, Sims has helped lead the Tide to a 6-1 record including 2-1 in the SEC heading into a trip to Tennessee on Saturday. “It makes me want to work even harder,” Sims said.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick, timesdaily.com:
Concern about position battles, rankings and execution take a back seat this week when the fourth-ranked Alabama football team travels to Tennessee for the heated SEC cross-divisional rivalry game. Just because the Volunteers are struggling again under second-year coach Butch Jones doesn’t matter. “This game that we have every year with Tennessee is one of the great rivalry games in college football,” coach Nick Saban said. “It certainly has a lot of tradition, and is something that has been very special and means a lot to a lot of our fans. It certainly means a lot to me and our staff and our team.”